August 21, 2019

Celebrating Peter da Costa


We are very sad to learn of the passing of our friend, Peter da Costa. His death marks a huge loss for the development community globally and for us at the Open Institute.

For us, Peter was perhaps the most consequential friend that we have had over the years – a consistent sounding board for our strategy, an accountability partner for our leaders and our guide. We can definitely say that we would not be where we are, were it not for his selfless friendship.

With Peter, we shared a passion for using data to strengthen citizens agency and power and we often shared many debates and conversations around citizen participation and transparency.

Peter was passionate about community power to use data to change lives

“I will forever be true to his admonition: be true to your mission and do not ever pander – not to donors, not to the government or anyone. Respectfully speak the truth and they will handle it,” said our founder Al Kags.

Peter had a big heart and a big brain. We were often awed by his intellect and depth – and his ability to see many different sides of an issue. He believed in the power of authentic ideas and showed us how to have the courage to be intellectually different.

To Ciru and his children: we are truly sorry for your loss. Peter’s eyes always lit up when he spoke about his kids and their passions.

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